The HENRY Healthy Families group programme

Every parent joining a HENRY programme receives a free HENRY toolkit which includes everything you’ll need during the programme and helpful resources to use with your family. The HENRY toolkit will help you give your child a great start in life, get the whole family involved, and keep track of how well you’re doing.

About the programme

The HENRY programme in the Better Start Southend areas is for parents or carers of children aged 0 to 4th birthday. It is free to join. Everyone wants the best for their children, but with so much conflicting advice it can be hard to know what to do for the best as a parent, especially in the early years.

Join the thousands of families across the country who have benefited from the support and tips it provides for young families. Research shows that the key ingredients to ensuring babies and young children have a healthy start in life are:

  • Parenting confidence
  • Physical activity for little ones
  • What children and families eat
  • Family lifestyle habits
  • Enjoying life as a family

The programme covers these 5 themes across 8 weeks and provides everything you need to help get your little one off to a great start.

Weekly Sessions

Each week helps you provide a healthy, happy, supportive environment for the whole family.

This first week explores what we mean by a healthy lifestyle and what’s a great start for babies and young children. This session is good opportunity to think about what your family life is like now, and how you would like it to be.

In this session we look at how to juggle life with young children so you all get what you need. Raising a family is a series of balancing acts. Here we will explore the main ones: the different types of food we eat, the importance of spending time with our children and also having time for ourselves.

In this section we will be thinking about how we respond to our children’s needs without giving in to all their demands. We will discuss: different parenting styles, setting limits, the importance of guidance and praising, and the family reward system. It’s all about making life easier and happier for everyone.

We look here at the big topic of eating healthily. We will share lots of ideas and tips to create positive mealtimes and reduce mealtime stress for everyone. We explore how and why we eat.

We are now half way through the programme, a good time to reflect about the process of learning a new skill. We will also cover how to give children choices in a way that helps family life run smoothly and ideas to being active to help children learn, develop and stay happy

In this section we look at food and eat healthily. We will cover: food groups, how to make sense of food labels, portion sizes for under 5s, first food and snack swaps.

The topics in this session aim to throw light on our feelings and how to handle them. In order to understand and manage or children behaviour we will focus on: behaviour, feelings and needs, the value of empathy, listening to others, soothing stress and creating calm.

We have arrived to the last section of the HENRY programme, where we celebrate your success as a parent and plan the future for your family. Together we will spot ways to solve things that are still a challenge, review family goals and look at how much closer to them you have come.

What do other parents say about it?

  • 97% of parents would recommend it
  • 89% feel more confident as a parent

"It's been brilliant, it's helped to get things done as a family"

Shoebury parent from HENRY programme